The little boy's has no name in the original Briggs cartoon book. However,the makers of the film required a name for the child's gift tag and selected 'James' after the boyfriend (later husband) of one of the animators.
When this program first aired on PBS stations in the United States, the introduction featured a newly filmed introduction by David Bowie instead of Raymond Briggs on the grounds that the animation needed a star.
Aled Jones, the singer of single "Walking in the Air" that was released in 1985 3 years after the film, is much more widely known than Peter Auty who sang the same song in the film. Many people mistakenly believe that Aled Jones also sang the song in the film. Jones sang the chart release because the song had been re-recorded for an advertisement for an English toy store's Christmas campaign (which also featured new animation)